My new Etsy Shop

I’ve been knitting and crocheting for a few years now, and I’ve finally started an Etsy shop.  I’ve posted several items for purchase, and would love it if my followers would check out what I have.

I’ve posted some new items, and I have a special coupon for friends and family! Enter “friendsofmaddy” for 10% off, good until December 16. Support small businesses this year for Christmas gifts!
 
Orders for shawls placed before December 1 this year will come with a free shawl pin.
Thanks!!
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One step forward and two steps back

Every few months, I end up writing a new blog post and then forgetting to update it.  I’ve been working for the past month on improving my fitness and eating habits, so I waited till it had been a little while to update this time, so I didn’t feel like I was going to make a big “I’m back” announcement and then fade away again.

I feel like I’ve spent the better part of a year backsliding on my weight loss.  A year ago, I was 20 pounds lighter.  It’s easy to focus on that.  But then I remind myself that five years ago, I was 35 pounds heavier.  I’m 30 pounds away from the lightest adult weight I’ve had, so I’m closer to that than to my heaviest.  It’s a slide in the direction that I want.

Focusing on the failures comes to me so much easier than focusing on the successes.  This week, I’m up 3 pounds since Thursday’s weigh in last week.  It’s easy to obsess about that number.  But, my actual weigh in for this week isn’t for 3 days and may reflect a very different number.  We went out for several dinners for my birthday, and I’m retaining salt from so much restaurant food.  Not a big deal.  Doesn’t keep me from obsessing about it.

So today, I’m focusing on the positive.

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I’m going to make a very self centered list of things I’ve done a good job of this month.  Where else are you supposed to brag, if not on your blog?

  1.  I turned 29!! (Not really something that you can do a bad job on per se, but its a good thing)
  2. The most decadent dessert we had for my birthday was a sno-cone.  We avoided ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, pies, etc.  Sno-cone on Thursday night, and berries with whipped cream the other nights.
  3. I rejoined weight watchers.  I had great success with them 5 years ago when I first started, and I was feeling like I could use the extra accountability.
  4. I made time for a weight watchers coaching call on my birthday.
  5. I lifted weights for the first time in a long time, did deadlifts, squats and overhead presses.
  6. I ran today (it was a rough run, one of the worst I’ve had in a long time, but it’s the first run I’ve done in 1.5 months and I did it. That alone is a success).
  7. I’ve been tracking all of my food for 2 weeks now, getting back in that habit.
  8. I remember to take my multi-vitamin like 50% of the time
  9. I’ve been drinking enough water
  10. I’ve cut out 90% of my sodas
  11. I hit my goals at work for 2nd quarter
  12. I’ve worked hard on my leadership academy project
  13. I’ve been a supportive good wife to an injured husband
  14. I’ve been cooking more often
  15. I’ve been knitting more

Those are the things for me to focus on today and this week.  I could make a list at least that long of crappy choices I’ve made, meals I’ve regretted eating, runs I didn’t take, but what’s the point?  It’s so simple to default to self loathing, to looking at everything that you’re convinced other people see when they look at you.  But then you have to remember that other people love you and think you’re great, and decide to give yourself the same benefit of the doubt.

I’m sure I’ll backslide again, no doubt.  It’s life, it’s how this all works.  I didn’t get to the weight and activity level I’m in over night, or even in a year, it was caused by choices and habits that have taken years to kick.  I have no doubt that I’ll have the occasional day that I’m horrified by my eating choices, but as long as I’m aware of them, and not making it a regular thing, I think it’s ok.  I give myself permission to be human, I’m taking away the pressure to be perfect.  I’m not, I know that I’m not.  I’m not perfect, but I’m getting to a point where I’m pretty happy with who I am and the effort I put forth to be stronger and healthier each day.

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Long walks make you think

This week, I visited my parents in Georgia with my husband.  My sister and her husband also joined.  It was fantastic seeing everyone, and we had a great time together.  I’m so thankful that my family can get together like that from time to time.

One thing that I’ve noticed when I spend time with my parents is just how inactive I am on a general basis.  They walk to nearby restaurants, take weekend hikes, walk the dogs daily.  These are all great things, and I aspire to be more like them on a physical activity level.  I feel like every trip I end up skipping a few walks here and there, and feeling really out of shape.  One thing that I’ve yet to really do though, is take it to heart and use it as a reminder to myself that I want to be healthier and exercise more.  We hiked up Amicalola Falls while we were there, and it was hard.  Not a long hike, but steep.  I would love to get to the point where hikes like that aren’t too hard, where I can go on runs with the group, but mostly where I’m feeling like I’m physically in good shape.  They inspire me!!

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I focus a lot on how I eat and what I eat (though that went out the window this past week, chips and pate and stuffing are just too tempting!!), but I think that I have done myself a disservice by not focusing enough on the cardio/exercise portion of my health.  I still have approximately 60 pounds that I want to lose, and that will happen this year.  I need to take more control though, and focus on the exercise.

While in Georgia, we watched the movie Wild.  I hadn’t seen it, and really enjoyed it.  It’s about a woman who decides to conquer her demons by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (the PCT).  I was inspired by her story.  Obviously, I am not escaping demons or leaving my job to hike for 1000 miles (nor could I at this point…someone would find me asleep by a bush 10 miles in, I think).  I did have an idea though, that was inspired by the story.  I’m going to increase my activity level by “Walking” to Georgia over the next several months.  From our house to Athens, Georgia, where my parents live is 607 miles.  Over the next several months, I’m going to keep track of how much activity I got each day, and tally the mileage that my phone says I went.  Right now, I’m only averaging about 2 miles a day, which is nothing.  If I add in the simple activity of a dog walk or 20 minutes on my elliptical, I should be able to increase that a few miles.  I think it will be fun to figure out where I am on the trip to Athens as I add on mileage.

December goals will be similar to November.  I don’t think I’m going to succeed on the 30 day dietbets that I’m in, but I’ll get myself on track for the 6 month one.  I’m going to exercise more, eat less, stress less, and try to do some sort of yoga or meditation a few times a week.  I’m also going to continue 90 ounces of water a day as my goal.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, hope everyone got to spend some time with loved ones, and be grateful for what you have in your life.

November 1

November feels good so far!  Only one day in, but it’s nice to feel on track already.

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Goal check in:

  • Exercise 600 minutes this month-30 minutes so far!  Well, I actually used a floor bike thingy for 30 minutes and did about an hour and a half of moving furniture and packing up boxes of stuff for goodwill, but I’m just counting 30.
  • Don’t weigh myself so compulsively-weighed in this morning.  I may end up doing one more weigh in this week so that I can do an official token weigh-in with diet bet this week, but if I do, I won’t do it again until next weekend.
  • Eat less meat-Ate a little chicken with dinner, so not a vegetarian day, but nothing over the top
  • Drink more water-drank 90 ounces!!! Also, got a drink with hubby after our massive goodwill drop off, but remembered that I had to finish my water for the day before having any other drinks, so I put it in the fridge till after dinner.

I planned out my menu for dinners this week, made myself a full meal plan for tomorrow, and made a batch of fancy breakfasts.  I’m going to see if I like these, but I’m pretty psyched to try them.  You combine uncooked oats, milk, yogurt, honey, chia seeds, mandarin oranges, and marmalade in a mason jar.  Let it sit overnight, which is supposed to hydrate the oats and chia seeds, and set into some sort of breakfast pudding?  I don’t know…looked tasty, and I am SO bad at eating breakfast regularly, so if I can find something I enjoy, I’ll do the work to make it.

I decided to join 2 more diet bets.  You can do 3 a once, so I’ve joined two that are month long bets.  It will keep me motivated and on track in November, I’m hoping!! I realized that my first weigh in for the big one is right after Thanksgiving, so I needed personal motivation to truly stay on track.

This should be a busy week at work, so I’m excited to start it feeling energetic and motivated.  I’m also really excited, because my manager at work joined dietbet with me!! It’s so awesome having someone you love working with on your team, and makes it even more fun to be doing something like this and motivating each-other to get healthier.

Ok folks, I need a few good ideas–Awesome vegetarian dinners that are fairly healthy, fun exercise ideas that are low impact for knees, and your favorite workout music suggestions.

xoxox

I’m back!!

I feel like I’ve been away from this blog for ages.  I have been so busy with work, school, life, it’s been hard to make time to write.  But I miss it!! I love writing, and I think that keeping this blog is a cathartic way for me to focus myself and not keep everything in my mind stopped up.

I am still working on losing weight, but I’m thrilled with how my other goals have been going.  I’m doing very well in school.  I’ve finished 2 semesters now, maintaining a 4.0, and am on the way to succeed on my 3rd semester as well (as long as I can stay on top of it for another 1.5 months!!).  I’ve knocked out business law, accounting 1+2, and college algebra.  This semester, I’m working on business calc and macro-economics.  I really enjoy being in school, but it’s sometimes hard to keep the momentum going.  I occasionally stop and wonder why I’m putting myself through the extra hassle and extra effort, but I do think it generally makes me more successful in my job, and will open up doors for me down the road.  One thing I’m considering though, is just completing an AA in business right now, and finishing the degree a few years down the road if I see myself starting to hit a wall in career growth.  I just keep thinking that I have many opportunities available right now that don’t require the extra degree, and who knows what my interests will be in 10 years.  I’m probably talking myself out of success though, I tend to do that.  I won’t make any decisions for a while, but I’m considering options.

I’ve been doing a cool program called dietbet for the past 6 months.

It’s a challenge that you bet you’ll win 10% of your weight over a 6 month period. It’s phased in segments to prevent unhealthy rushes to meet a number. The one I did ended yesterday, and I met my goal!! I’m thrilled, and 10% lighter than I was April 29th. I am starting a new one tomorrow that will be for 6 months. I have had some friends ask me for information about how to sign up, so I’m posting my link here. You bet $25 per month that you’ll meet your goals, and how much you win depends on how many other players met their goals. I put in $125.00 up front for my 6 months (pay up front and get 1 month free) and ended up winning a total of $296.86.

If anyone wants to join with me, it’s pretty fun and for me, the idea of losing money keeps me more motivated 🙂

Here’s the link, if anyone wants to join http://diet.bt/Yv0P7Q

I’ve decided I need to start setting myself some new monthly goals, ways to keep myself on track, but not demand too much from myself in one go.  Exercise continues to be a problem area for me, I just have a hard time staying motivated.  It always seems like I start strong exercising and either hurt myself, or burn out.  I’m going to try to adjust that this month.

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My goals:

  • Exercise 600 minutes this month-With 30 days in November, that averages out to only 20 minutes a day.  That will allow me to skip some days without stressing about it, but still increase my activity level in general.  I’ll be with my family the week of Thanksgiving, and I always exercise a LOT more around them, so I’m sure that will help me meet my goal.
  • Don’t weigh myself so compulsively-I’ve started obsessing about the scale again, which I just don’t think is healthy.  I need to cut back from weighing myself daily.  It makes me torture myself about decisions the previous day with food, or do stupid things like skip breakfast to get myself back where I want to be.  I think the most healthy option would be to only weigh myself the once a month required for dietbet, but I don’t know if I can do that.  Maybe I’ll start by saying I can only weigh myself once a week.
  • Eat less meat-I always feel pretty good when I eat less meat, and I think it will help me choose healthier options.  This month, my goal is to have 3 vegetarian days a week.
  • Drink more water-I’ve TOTALLY fallen off the water drinking wagon.  I’m down to like…10 ounces a day?  Or less?  It’s gross, and I’ve started drinking diet cokes again.  I’m going to try for 80 ounces a day to start, and if I want a soda, I can only have it after I’ve met my water goals.

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I’m going to be trying to update this more often, I think it’s good for me to stay focused and remind myself of what’s important to me.

xoxo

Quiet weekends are so nice

This weekend, I just wasn’t feeling any of it.  It was a busy week at work, and Orange is the New Black was released on Netflix.  Therefore, my big goal was to not have anything on my to do list.  I knocked out the basics like laundry and grocery shopping, but mostly just relaxed, watched Netflix, and hung out with my pup.

I had a lot of time to think about life and things going on in my day to day.  I am feeling refreshed, motivated, and excited for the next few months.  My health changes are going well, and I’m feeling enthusiastic about continuing.  I am officially back under my previous weight loss, I’ve gotten back to where I was before I started slipping back 2 years ago.  I don’t want to slip this time.  I think that myfitnesspal works better for me than weight watchers, but for me, the biggest success is just keeping track of everything I eat.

Sidenote, if anyone wants to add me on myfitness pal, here’s my page Link!

There’s something satisfying about planning my food and activity.  I’m someone who likes being in control, and taking back control of this aspect makes me feel calm and collected.  Since I began my weight loss back in 2012, I am officially down 50 pounds.  I still have a long way to go, but celebrating a success like that makes me feel very satisfied.  I’m hoping to continue with 1-2 pounds a week, and who knows…this time next year, I may be at my goal.

I really need to start adding regular activity into my schedule.  I get lazy, I come up with any number of excuses…I’m tired, it’s late, it’s dark, there’s nowhere to bike around here, the dog is tired, I have to cook dinner, I’m tired, I’ll do extra tomorrow, the list goes on and on.  I have to figure out the best ways to do this.  I don’t really know right now what that way is, but I know that when I was in Utah averaging 15000 steps a day, I felt awesome.  It’s a catch 22, when you’re tired you don’t want to exercise, but exercising gives you so much extra energy.  I really wish there was a 10 fitness here in town.  It’s a $10.00 a month gym that’s around central Arkansas, but the closest one is the next city over.  It’s not too far, but I know myself and know that I wouldn’t be likely to drive 20 minutes to go work out.  There’s a place on my way home from work that I’m considering looking into, but I know that the building has been purchased, so I don’t want to sign up for a membership somewhere that is closing soon.  I love mcclure fitness for their classes, but I think I’d like to have a place to just go walk on a treadmill or ride a bike.  I enjoy having the elliptical at home, but it’s a cheap home unit and I’m close to the weight limit, so it squeaks and doesn’t feel super sturdy.  I think that in 20-30 pounds when I’m well under the weight limit it’ll work better, but I don’t feel very confident using it right now.

I’m so excited for this upcoming week.  I’m planning to have a great week at work, I get to have lunch with my aunt and uncle and cousin tomorrow, and I’m hoping to get out for a sushi date with Steve sometime over the weekend.

I leave everyone with this thought.  Plan for your week to be great.  Go at it with a positive attitude.  Visualize success and happiness.

Plus,

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Weekend updates!!

This weekend has been good so far!

My last post, I said I was planning to do a few specific things.

Game night–Check! We played one of our new games last night.  We didn’t do sushi with it, but instead we had awesome burrito bowls (more on that later)

Beef Jerky–Check! Made it yesterday, super tasty

Housewarming party–Check! Went over and spent the afternoon.  Hung out with coworkers, talked, at food, played a game, and spent time with 2 awesome dogs-one great dane the size of a small horse, and one great dane puppy who is 7 weeks old and really squirmy.

Geocaching–Sort of check, but I’m counting it!  I promised in my last post that I’d do 2 cache’s this weekend.  I actually tried for 4, but only found 1.  1 of them seems like it’s in a creek near my house.  I took off my shoes and climbed in to search, kept getting close, then got spooked by a big turtle and jumped out.  I might try again another time.  1, I found the cache, but it’s some big metal box that you have to figure out the code to open.  I tried for about 10 minutes before giving up.  Again, might try that one again.  1 wasn’t anywhere to be found, but then I looked at the logs and they all said it was missing, and the last successful find was October 2014.  I did locate one successfully, so I’m calling it good.

We made an exciting dinner last night!  Tiffani suggested this dish to me, and I finally made it.  It’s called a one-pot burrito bowl, and it was delicious.  You use a big pot, cook up some veggies, brown some ground beef, add black beans, corn, salsa, green peppers, (I also added olives), and rice, then 2 cups of broth, taco seasoning and chili powder.  You let it all simmer together for 30 minutes, and it cooks the rice and blends all the flavors together.  Super tasty.  We also attempted a first for us.  We made tortillas!! I will say, these weren’t proper tortillas.  The recipe I found used olive oil instead of lard.  They worked surprisingly well though, and it makes me want to buy a tortilla press and make all fresh ones forever.

The Recipe

The Results: IMG_0236 (note the tortillas!! mmmmm…)

So far, it’s looking good that Steve isn’t getting called into work tonight, so we might play another board game, and either roast a chicken or eat burrito bowl left overs.

Enjoy your weekend, and get enough rest tonight to start the week refreshed!!

xooxx